Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel. -Gilbert K. Chesterton
Freeing ourselves from our burdens is not always possible. That does not mean we are doomed to break under the pressures of family, occupation, or self.
Today, my sister and I brought Abraham to the hospital to flush the port in his chest, to be examined by the radiation oncologist for side effects or signs of regression, and to confirm the route we will take to amplify his decreased hearing due to the ototoxicity of chemotherapy.
All of those things are difficult.
Yet, all of those things are who we are.
Here is Abraham in the Chicago Sports Room waiting for the nurse to come with her tray full of needles and syringes. With all the pains and discomforts and inconveniences and exclusions that cancer has thrown at my little boy, needle pokes are the toughest part for him.
Yet, there he stands proud of his hat, and although he was definitely afraid, when the time came, he took his seat and allowed Nurse Jessica to do what she needed to do – because that’s just who he is.
Sometimes, recognizing our responsibilities as part of what makes us whole and unique shifts the weight of what we must carry to what we are made of; thereby adding substance to our sense of self and reducing the pressure from our sense of duty.
Peace, love, and shifting perspectives
So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable. -Christopher Reeve
Today is Sports Day at Taft Shool. Abraham decided he would represent his t-ball team “from when he was young,” and Anthony Rizzo’s team, the 2016 history-making, pennant-clinching Chicago Cubs.
Some people dream of winning it all. Others seek international fame or great wealth. I envision a kinder, healthier world for our children and grandchildren. If you ask eight-year-old Abraham Daily about his dreams, he will tell you, “I just want to be able to grow up, and I want to have a job where I can make other people smile-like a writer or a comedian.”
So let it be.
The realization of any dream originates somewhere in the mix of intention, determination and application. Oftentimes, the pursuit of that dream may seem unreal. We may feel the world or the odds are against us. Plus, we cannot simply will our dreams into place.
But dreams can come true.
To get past our doubt and to embrace our vision, we must believe; we must work; and, we must persist. Though first and foremost, we must be willing to dream.
Why bother when so many dreams cannot come true?
When we work towards the possibility of fulfillment despite the scarcity of chance, a single dream actualized could result in an extraordinary life.
Never give up; for even rivers someday wash dams away. -Arthur Golden
Last night, Chicago Cubs First Baseman Anthony Rizzo answered a full count, a Baez fastball, and a two-for-29 hitting slump with a solo homerun over the center-field wall.
In the sixth, he hammered again to center for a two-run single.
In the eighth, he singled to left as the Cubs momentum ignited and the team blazed a 10-2 victory in Game 4 of a best-of-seven which tied the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers.
There was also a telling moment in the 7th inning where Anthony apologized to the umpire, Angel Hernandez, for having voiced his displeasure about a strike called in the 5th. That humble act alone shows that we are all human, but how we choose to express our humanity defines us.
A year ago today during Abraham’s first round of chemotherapy, we met Anthony Rizzo at Lurie Children’s Hospital.
Anthony had Abraham sign his jersey:
That day, The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation gave us hope. Meeting a compassionate, strong, and dedicated athlete who went through his own battle has stayed with us and continues to fuel Abraham’s recovery.
Anthony realized during his own battle with cancer that no matter how difficult fighting cancer was for him, it was even more difficult for his family. Anthony believes that an individual does not battle cancer alone, but that the whole family battles it together. The Mission of the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation is to raise money for cancer research and to provide support to children and their families battling the disease.
Much of the battle against any disease is in the mind set. When we stay positive and believe in a strong future, the days become tolerable and the journey becomes meaningful.
We are grateful today and everyday for individuals like Anthony Rizzo whose efforts model perseverance and positivity on both a personal and national scale.
Peace, love, and strength…